Once upon a time there was a mouthy, opinionated, idealistic, (relatively) young RN who thought it would be a GREAT idea to go back to Med School. She gave up her job, her home, her 401K and all other trappings of adult-style living she had accrued in order to make it happen. Including her husband. (To be fair, that one was more of a mutual, and most likely inevitable, surrender.) Armed with nothing but her trusty sidekick Miss Kitty, blind faith, more than her fair share of pure stubbornness, emotional baggage and a financial aid check, back to Med School she went. To start over. Again.
She soon discovered (like on the first day, after her first Biochemistry small group when she had her first panic attack in the second floor bathroom) Med School, is freaking hard. And so was relating to her (not even relatively, but truly, chronologically) fresh, young classmates. Now she was (relatively) old and in way the h*ll over her head.
But, she persevered. She devoted (pretty much her entire) life to studying, and not just surviving, but succeeding in Med School. Because, after all, they probably teach all that stuff for a reason and she might actually need it someday. Say to save a life, or give real, sciencey sounding explanations as to why, Yes, Mr. Smith eating Double Whoppers and burning through two packs of Kools per day WILL, most likely, eventually turn out badly for you. For times when “because I said so” just won’t cut it for those real, hard core skeptical patients.
Unfortunately, as much as she succeeded academically, her personal life was inversely a massive FAIL. She lost her first post-divorce boyfriend (mid-way through Path and Micro, something had to give and it was not going to be her 92% test average), and had made no in-roads with her classmates who were, apparently, from a completely different generation (possibly, at times she questioned, a different species) and were therefore, mostly unfathomable to her.
Then, one night, (literally) buried in research for her imminently due 43 page Pharm paper, she was indulging in some much needed gratuitous web surfing and discovered….Med Bloggers. Specifically, a whole community of *non-trad* Med Bloggers like her. [Cue chorus of angels and celestial golden rays of dawn’s early light.]
Naturally, with little (or, ok, no) consideration she gleefully flung herself into anonymous Med Blogging. And briefly, reveled in it. Like a freshly bathed Labrador in 10 foot pile of rotting skunk corpses. And amidst all the joy and nuclear-fission scale release, she completely forgot the meaning of the word Anonymous, overestimated the trustworthiness of a few choice individuals and underestimated the velocity at which a juicy rumor could power through a crowd of stressed, isolated, gossip-mongering medical students.
She was essentially busted. Not that she wrote anything all THAT bad. Just that anything she did write, well, too many people knew it was her doing the writing. So she got paranoid. Wrote less, worried more and eventually just shut the whole d*mned mess down out of pure exhaustion. For her, there was no more joy left to be found in Blogville.
She started over. Again. Blogless, she threw herself into clinicals and a new relationship with the same fervor with which she had once approached clever post titles and endless charts of pharmaceutical facts.
Fast forward 12 months or so.
It’s the first day of fourth year. Third year has left scars on my soul that make me glad I was not blogging. Nobody (including me, thank you) needed to be subjected to that. I am also single, again. More unmentionable emotional baggage tucked away until some future time when I can afford my own, personal on-call therapist and enough happy pills to stuff my cheeks like a late September squirrel.
But strangely, despite the beat down that was last year, I am finally starting to feel like myself again. An (even) older, wiser, tougher, more discreet but, also a more hope-full version of myself. I can’t shake the wholly optimistic (and truthfully, as of late, uncharacteristic) feeling that every day is chance to start over, to make a better day, to be a better person. Not to mention that irresistible, irrepressible urge to blog it out is back.
So here I am on this day. Starting over. Once again.